Over at JHeroes.com, I’ve had a fun month tipping my hat to Women’s History Month, exploring the audio biographies of famous women editors, publishers and reporters — partly because “women reporters” is a major theme my “Portrayal of the Journalist in Popular Culture” students are exploring this semester.
This week is registration for fall semester (already!) and I’ve been trying to spread the word about that course, a “special topics” offering that isn’t in the catalog. In the process of doing the JHeroes blog and preparing that course, I’ve discovered quite a few films and novels I didn’t know about.
For example, I wouldn’t have known that the head of the Associate Press wrote a novel, “Anna Zenger, Mother of Freedom,” fictionalizing America’s first landmark libel trial. Luckily, the DuPont radio series, Cavalcade of America, turned Kent Cooper’s novel into a radio play — one they liked so much they did it twice, with different casts.
And I wouldn’t have known that America’s first woman foreign correspondent, Margaret Fuller, was also the the editor of The Dial — hobnobbing with Emerson, Thoreau and Hawthorne, and maybe inspiring some of Hawthorne’s women characters.
I also didn’t know how many times daredevil reporter Nellie Bly had found episodes from her life dramatized — or entirely fictionalized, including one series of novels that has her hanging out with Sherlock Holmes.
Take a look… After visiting radio appearances by 18th and 19th century women, I’m finishing up the month with some who are more contemporary.